DENVER — Colorado Attorney General John Suthers thanked Gov. John Hickenlooper today for issuing a proclamation in honor of Safe2Tell, a school-safety program within the Office of the Attorney General.
“Colorado has seen more than its share of school violence, including the high profile shootings at Columbine, Platte Canyon and Deer Creek Middle School,” Suthers said. “The key to preventing these tragedies and other instances of bullying, substance abuse, suicide and all of the other issues facing our children today is prevention. The best way to keep these tragedies from happening is to give kids a way to proactively reach out to law enforcement and educators. Safe2Tell provides just that.”
Safe2Tell is a program based on the Columbine Commission Report’s recommendation that students need a safe and anonymous way to keep lines of communication open between themselves, educators and law enforcement. The commission’s report emphasized that tragedies can be prevented if students have a way to tell someone ahead of time without worrying about facing retaliation from their peers.
“There is no question that Colorado school children are safer and law enforcement are better able to respond to dangerous situations and intervene early because young people and adults are using Safe2Tell,” said Susan Payne, director of the Safe2Tell program. “We are thankful that Gov. Hickenlooper has chosen to recognize that Safe2Tell has been incredibly successful and is a core component of preventing tragedies and saving lives by proclaiming February 21 to February 25 ‘Safe2Tell Week.’”
One hundred and forty-seven school districts across Colorado participate in Safe2Tell. Since its inception in 2003, Safe2Tell has helped prevent school attacks and suicides and has helped law enforcement and school officials intervene before problems get out of control.
For example, Safe2Tell has helped address:
- 858 cases of bullying;
- 561 instances of drug or alcohol abuse;
- 387 threats of violence;
- 372 suicide preventions;
- 236 reports of sexual misconduct;
- 232 responses to harassment;
- 219 reports of guns or other weapons on school property;
- 207 reports of child abuse;
- 123 fights prevented; and
- 28 prevented planned school attacks.
Students can file a tip or a report with Safe2Tell by calling 1-877-542-7233 or by submitting a tip through the program’s Web site, www.safe2tell.org.